People with cabins or homes between Yellowknife and Behchokǫ̀ should “be on alert and ready to leave on short notice” over a nearby wildfire, the NWT government says.
The warning was issued late on Thursday evening following concern that Friday’s weather conditions could push wildfire ZF015 closer to the highway.
The notice from the Department of Environment and Climate Change is specific to homes and cabins between km 260 and 300 of Highway 3, a stretch extending from just east of Behchokǫ̀ to roughly the midpoint of the road between Behchokǫ̀ and Yellowknife.
Residents are told ZF015 may affect buildings in that area “within the next 24 hours,” while smoke could make visibility and driving conditions poor.
“While the fire remains 10 km from Highway 3 at this time, northwest winds tomorrow would be expected to push the fire south and east,” the department wrote on Facebook late on Thursday.
“The incident management team is concerned this may lead to significant growth to the south.”
The department said there is no current risk to Behchokǫ̀ or Yellowknife.
“Get your emergency kit and essential personal belongings packed and ready,” the GNWT advised residents along that 40-km stretch of highway.
“Ensure transportation is ready to go. Listen to directions from emergency management officials you see on the ground.”
The territory said air tankers are working on the south end of ZF015 to slow its progress and crews are working to install sprinklers on cabins and homes in the area.
Tankers, helicopters and seven ground crews are assigned to the fire, which at the last count had burned an estimated 14,000 hectares.